Sri Lanka President optimistic over re-building COVID-19 affected economy

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has express optimism that the economy adversely affected by the COVID–19 pandemic could be re-built on a solid basis, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

The Presidential Task Force in charge of the Economic Revival and Poverty Eradication has been entrusted with the responsibility of formulating a new economic model to achieve this objective, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported on Friday citing the PMD as saying.

The President expressed these views during a meeting with the members of the newly-appointed Task Force held at the Presidential Secretariat on Thursday to discuss modalities relating to the resumption of civilian life and work from May 11.

“Apparel and tourism sectors which make a huge contribution to the national economy should be revitalized to suit the changing situations,” he said.

Rajapaksa was also of the view that new opportunities were now open to attract tourists from countries where the pandemic had subdued.

While members of the Task Force were told to pay attention to promote domestic tourism so that the local hotel industry could be saved from collapse, the President also pointed out the possibility of attracting more foreign investors to invest in the Port City and the Industrial Zone in Hambantota.

Head of the Task Force Basil Rajapaksa said that it will support new businesses and extend the fullest cooperation to already existing large, medium and small scale enterprises.

The number of coronavirus cases in Sri Lanka currently stands at 824, with nine deaths.

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